Playoffs day two in Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Major started with a grudge match between Peter “ppd” Dager – Ninjas in Pyjamas and Evil Geniuses, the team PPD won a TI with.
Game one was absolutely miserable for NiP, especially for their mid laner Adrian “Fata” Trinks, who got his Alchemist completely destroyed in the mid lane by Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan on Ember Spirit. NiP had a somewhat greedy draft with a Keeper of the Light (KotL) that was supposed to find the farm for a fast Aghanim’s Scepter, Alchemist that usually goes for an early Radiance while also protecting Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard’s Terrorblade. All the NiP plans went south as SumaiL crushed the mid lane, bullied the Alchemist everywhere on the map, hunting him down in the jungle or any other lane he would try to desperately at least hit level six, while Ember was already sitting on 6 kills with no deaths around the eight-minute mark. SumaiL died just once in the entire game and simply terrorized NiP. But, his amazing performance and the commendable EG victory only taunted the enemy captain, widely regarded as a Dota 2 genius drafter. Heading into the second game of the series, he placed Martin “Saksa” Sazdov on KoTL once again but gave Ace a Phantom Lancer, while the true hero of that game was Fata- on a mid Dragon Knight standing against SumaiL – Queen of Pain.
Interestingly enough, the QoP pick came after NiP already showed their two supports, both strong counters to QoP’s mobility, Bane and KotL. EG’s was reliant on an early snowball from QoP, but were unable to execute the strategy as Fata along with KotL started to rotate as soon as DK had his Dragon form. Perfect coordination between these two caught Queen of Pain almost every time and enabled NiP to have the superiority in the team-fights to close the game with 29 to 9 in kills score and over 35K gold advantage. Game three was even more of an out-draft from PPD, who opened the picks with Weaver, which proved to be a support in the hands of Saksa, and closed with Templar Assassin for Fata. Sumail got wrecked in the mid lane once again, while Saksa almost carried in the early laning stage for his team. He went top lane with NiP’s stand-in for this event, Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov, who was on Earthshaker and dominated the EG offlaner Underlord. A double kill secured by Weaver in the first five minutes of the game got Saksa the levels and the gold to complete Aquila and afford to ward deep into the EG side of the map, so he can start the rotations extremely early. In the meantime, SumaiL was forced out of the lane completely, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev’s Morphling wasn’t feeling safe in his bottom lane either and NiP kept the pressure going to push EG in the lower bracket rounds after a very one-sided game three.
Their victory from today grants NiP a secured top six at the very first Major of the season and three days to rest before resuming their journey in Kuala Lumpur. The upper bracket semi finals will be played on Friday, November 16, when the gates of Axiata Arena will open for the live audience. Until then, day two in the playoffs continues with Fnatic fighting against Virtus.pro for a top six as well, and it will end with two elimination matches.